This 27-year-old ex-con is now giving ‘clean shaves and proper fades’…and business is booming

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

He’s pretty young to be a successful business owner. But 27-year-old Tony Covert owns a profitable barbershop in Fredericksburg, Va. called The Gentleman’s Club and he’s getting ready to open a second location this July in Richmond. That’s pretty impressive.

What’s even more impressive is that Covert did all this after serving two years in prison.

“He’s come a long way,” Eddie Castro told the Fredericksburg Freelance – Star. Castro has known Covert since the age of 12 (when he was…well…”rough around the edges”). “I’m very proud of what he’s doing,” he said. “It’s a unique establishment. The people here set it apart.”

Covert, one of eight children, has always had a passion for cutting hair even from a young age. But then he started hanging with the wrong crowd, and after getting involved in a gang fight at a party, had to serve time in prison from 2011 to 2013.

During that time, Covert cleaned up his act. He took formal barber training. After being released, he cut hair part time. He got so good that word of mouth spread…and people started searching him out. As every entrepreneur knows, where there’s demand, there’s opportunity. So Covert took advantage of the opportunity, and with a little financial help from his mom opened up his barber shop in late 2014.

Today, Covert sees about 25 clients a day and has a loyal following of about 870 regulars, including a number of players from the Washington Redskins. His secret? It’s creating a family, informal atmosphere that gives “clean shaves and proper fades.” Being pretty much bald, I have no idea what that means. But his customers seem to.

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